Musician Travis Barker is an unconventional man and he knows it. According to All Music, the talented drummer was born in 1975 and was fascinated by music as a child. Luckily for him, his parents were highly supportive and motivated him to explore his passion. The drummer has played for an impressive number of bands over the years, including Blink-182, the Suicide Machines, Box Car Racer, Goldfinger, Transplants, the Aquabats, and many more.
Per Rolling Stone, Barker is fairly versatile as an artist. He’s also worked in the music industry as a producer and released his solo project, “Give the Drummer Some,” in 2011, an album that featured a surprising amount of rap. He is a fan of different genres of music, such as metal, punk, and hip-hop. Barker believes that his work hasn’t always been understood by the public. He told Rolling Stone, “I think there was a period of time where people were like, ‘What is he doing?’ But it was natural for me.”
Think you know all about the Blink-182 drummer? You might be surprised. Here’s the untold truth of Travis Barker.
He is a natural musician
Travis Barker was simply meant to be a musician. According to his memoir, “Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums,” he was drawn to music when he was just 4 years old. He wrote, “My mother and father made sure I got drum lessons, and took me to every single one.” While his father dropped him off at the venue, Barker’s mom always hung around to make sure that she recorded the session. She also figured out how to read music and how to hold drumsticks correctly. Barker wrote, “If I didn’t understand something, I could always go to her.”
Barker also revealed that he had a minor accident when he was a child, something that badly hurt his middle finger. His parents had to make a tough decision after the mishap: should they let their kid’s middle finger remain crooked or have it corrected? They decided on the former, something that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Barker wrote, “If it had been set straight, I wouldn’t be able to play drums effectively and I would have been constantly flipping off.” His finger is still crooked.
He loves skateboarding
While music meant the world to him, there was another thing that Travis Barker absolutely loved doing as a child: skateboarding. He wrote in “Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums” that he would have spent all his time drumming and skateboarding if his mom had let him. Barker wouldn’t hesitate to sneak off to construction sites, where he would find wood to make skateboarding ramps.
He even liked skateboarding enough to sacrifice his music, writing, “I liked skateboarding so much, I started selling drums and cymbals from my drum kit to get money for new skateboard parts.” Barker also started exploring new places as a result of skateboarding, looking for new locations where he could practice with his friends.
He remains passionate about the same things as an adult, telling Rolling Stone “I skateboard with my kids, I box with my kids…. My kids like the same music I do.”
Losing his mom was a huge blow
Barker lost his mom unexpectedly. He told Vice that he lost her to cancer when she was still relatively young. He said, “From the moment after my mom passed away, I really followed the last words she told me. ‘Play the drums and don’t care about anything else in life but doing the things you love.'”
Losing his mom was a tough experience. Per an Instagram post that Barker posted on Mother’s day in 2014, he was only 13 years old at the time. His heartbreaking caption read, “…she passed away the day before high-school when I was 13. I was devastated to say the least and have thought about her & missed her everyday since.” He urged his fans to appreciate their mothers while they’re still around them. Barker’s post was accompanied by a photo of a back tattoo that was created as a tribute to his mother.
Travis Barker loves tattoos
Travis Barker loves tattoos. According to GQ, around 70% of his body is covered in ink. For him, his tattoos document his memories and reflect the tales that he has to share with the rest of the world. He revealed that he embarked on this journey when he was just 15 years old, and that he remains passionate about getting inked even today. He even lets his children work on his tattoos sometimes. He said, “I have this portion on my thigh where basically anytime I get tattooed, if they’re around and they want to, they can grab the gun and doodle on me. It’s like a sketchbook. Those are the memories that are really priceless.”
Barker’s father wasn’t supportive of his son’s ink at first but eventually warmed up to the idea so much that he got a tattoo himself in his 60s. This was immensely satisfying for Barker who told GQ, “It was so cool to see pops come full circle.”
He's open to everything
As a musician and a drummer, if there’s one thing that sets Travis Barker apart, it is the fact that he’s willing to experiment and work with as many artists as he can. In May 2021, the Guardian called Barker “the most influential person in music right now.” Midway through 2021, he had already worked on at least 25 songs that year and collaborated with artists like Lil Huddy, Willow Smith, Bebe Rexha, and more.
Also, the musician doesn’t get too picky about the kind of artists he works with, meaning that his body of work is pretty versatile. He’s made music with Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, and drummed for James Arthur, Pink, and Britney Spears, among many others.
He is self-aware as a musician as well. Barker told Variety, “I have my own drum sound. Where some drummers are good at sounding like everyone else, I definitely have a signature that applies to all genres. That’s noticeable.”
He added that when he decides to make music with someone, he puts in a lot of effort and communicates with them as much as he can, saying “Whenever I work with someone, there’s a lot of talking, as well as doing, that goes into it. You have to have a connection like that to warrant that trust.”
He sustained a painful injury at a Blink-182 show
Travis Barker faced an unexpected setback while performing with Blink-182 in 2004. According to MTV, the drummer hurt his leg in Australia. The injury was serious enough for the band to reconsider the rest of its tour in Australia as well as Japan. Barker broke his foot in Melbourne and had to be taken to hospital.
Per the Sydney Morning Herald, Barker tripped and fell while walking to the band’s tour bus, but the drummer stayed determined despite the accident. He decided to played at another gig with the band in Adelaide while his right foot remained in a cast. However, it was too tricky for the drummer to continue performing.
After thinking things through, the band decided that it was a good idea to head back home on account of Barker’s health. This was a smart move because they only understood how serious the injury was once Barker saw a doctor in Los Angeles. The band’s bass player, Mark Hoppus, told the Sydney Morning Herald, “Not only did he break his foot but he tore his tendons and ligaments. He got the type of injury that people get in motorcycle accidents.”
Travis Barker was a part of a reality TV show
Travis Barker’s life is pretty unusual. He once starred in a reality TV show with his ex-wife, Shanna Moakler. According to the Things, the show was called “Meet the Barkers,” and it basically followed Travis Barker and his family as they went about their everyday lives. Interestingly, the TV show didn’t have a script when it was first shot, which meant that the initial segment was fairly genuine for reality TV.
It went on for two seasons and had 16 episodes. One episode featured Travis Barker’s birthday, which was ridiculously grand and saw him receive a new drum set, a gold Cadillac, and a big party. After the show, the car was eventually sold to someone else for just $12,500.
Barker and Moakler’s daughter, teenage TikTok star Alabama Barker, was born while the series was in production, and she featured in the last episode.
His divorce from Shanna Moakler was very difficult
One of the most traumatic experiences that Travis Barker had to live through was surviving a public and nasty breakup with his ex-wife, Shanna Moakler. Per US Weekly, the couple was experiencing issues even while filming “Meet the Barkers.” Barker wrote about his thoughts on the relationship in “Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums.”
The musician felt that being on a reality TV show changed his wife. He wrote, “It was turning into a variety show instead of a reality show — and in my mind, she was behaving out of character on camera, which was carrying over to her not being genuine with me.”
In fact, he asked for a divorce as soon the TV show ended. However, things got out of hand and they ended up insulting each other openly. Barker accused Moakler of being unfaithful lazy, while she said that he definitely needed help. The two briefly reconciled in 2008, but soon parted ways again.
Meanwhile, the couple’s custody fight got murkier in 2014, when Moakler asked a judge to reevaluate their joint custody agreement of their two kids. Barker has said, “I believe that Shanna loves our children but does not put their interests first.”
Travis Barker was involved in a terrible plane crash
Per the Guardian, Travis Barker was involved in a horrific plane crash in September 2008. The incident, which took place in Columbia, South Carolina, killed four passengers. Barker and DJ AM (Adam Goldstein) were the only two survivors, and both went to hospital with serious burns. Former Columbia mayor Bob Coble said at the time, “It’s absolutely terrible and tragic.”
Per the NZ Herald, it wasn’t easy for Barker to get out of the accident unscathed. He told Joe Rogan, “When I jumped through the emergency exit when the plane blew up, I was in such a hurry to exit the plane I jumped right into the jet, which is full of fuel.” As a result, Barker suffered terrible burns. His body was full of jet fuel and he said that it took months for him to get rid of it completely.
He said, “When I jumped into the jets… I started running… I was ripping off my clothes because that’s what my instinct told me to do… but little did I know I was still on fire because I was soaked in jet fuel.”
It took around 11 weeks in hospital, several surgeries, and skin grafts for Barker to physically recover. His mental health took a beating too, and he reports going to therapy to deal with the post-traumatic stress.
He lost his friend after the crash
Barker suffered a heartbreak when his friend, DJ AM died unexpectedly in 2009 (via MTV). DJ AM was determined to have died of an accidental overdose. Just weeks before his death, the musician was trying to encourage others to avoid substances on a show called “Gone Too Far.” He said back then, “I owe it as a human who’s sober to say something to them [those struggling with drugs.] So that’s my job. That’s what I’m there for.”
DJ AM was reportedly suffering from immense pain because of the 2008 plane crash he survived alongside Barker. According to the New York Times, he eventually ended up turning to drugs to cope with his pain.
Barker was heartbroken by his friend’s death. In 2015, he wrote on Instagram, “Been 6 years, not a day goes by I don’t miss my homie, my mentor, one of my favorite people… Rest in power Adam I love you, till we rock again.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit theSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration websiteor contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Travis Barker has battled health issues
Several health troubles have plagued Travis Barker for years. According to Men’s Health, the plane crash left him devastated and struggling with a case of post-traumatic stress disorder. He needed therapy for months as he tried to come to terms with survivor’s guilt. Barker recalled, “I couldn’t walk down the street. If I saw a plane [in the sky], I was determined it was going to crash, and I just didn’t want to see it.”
Time has made a huge difference and helped the musician heal. He said, “It’s gotten better the further I get away from it.” Barker has also gotten tattoos done as a tribute to those who died in the crash. Plus, he has been practicing mindfulness techniques to feel better.
According to Yahoo, Barker has suffered from blood clots, cellulitis, nerve damage, a staph infection, and more. He was also involved in a road accident when a bus hit his car in California. Barker has suffered over the years but has said that he remained comfortable with the idea of touring. “I bounce back pretty quickly, knock on wood, but yeah, I’m good,” he proclaimed.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact theCrisis Text Lineby texting HOME to 741741, call theNational Alliance on Mental Illnesshelpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit theNational Institute of Mental Health website.
He decided to clean up his act
Another thing that changed for Travis Barker after the plane crash was that he decided to become healthier in as many ways as possible. The musician told Vice, “After the accident my kids were so important to me. I came so close to death that I realized there was no way I was going to f*** up a second chance at life.”
He also mentioned that the pain medication that he had to take after the plane crash led to him quitting substances for good. He said, “It wasn’t until the crash happened that I was actually forced to do all these drugs, then stronger drugs, then I didn’t want to do them anymore.”
According to Men’s Journal, Barker also made the decision to switch to veganism after the plane crash. “Honestly, ever since I found this way of eating I have endless amounts of energy,” he said. “I can go all day, and after it all I never find myself getting tired.” Barker also made regular workouts a part of his routine, trying new circuits and boxing.
Travis Barker feels misunderstood
In 2015, Travis Barker got fairly candid in an interview with Vice, saying that lots of people don’t understand where he’s coming from. He is often judged for his unconventional appearance. He said, “…For it to still be a stereotype is weird to me. My kids have been with me when I’ve been pulled out of the car and asked what gang I’m in.” He’s also been asked other things like if he’s been to jail or whether he has weapons with him.
He added that this was a strange experience for his kids who wondered whether people assumed Barker was a bad guy. He said that he had to tell them that “sometimes people get the wrong idea based off the way you look.”
Barker is determined to be true to himself, saying that if an eatery doesn’t approve of his clothing and tells him to wear a jacket, he’ll simply leave the place.
He is a dedicated parent
Travis Barker values his role as a father. In fact, he told Vice that he would not hesitate to be in an airplane accident again for the sake of his kids. He said, “Man, I would get in a plane crash again. I would battle an army. For my kids and my family, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do.”
According to People, Barker has always wanted to be present in his kids’ lives. He says that this is something he is able to appreciate because he lost his mom at an early age. “I had a rough childhood, you know what I mean, but it made me strong… I want… certain things for my children. I just want to be in their life,” Barker said. He said that he and his ex-wife, Shanna Moakler, have different ideas on how to raise children, and that this difference contributed to their relationship breaking down.
Also, as far as Barker is concerned, his kids are his source of strength. They’ve helped me stay on track over the years, something that he doesn’t hesitate to acknowledge and be grateful for (via Salon.) He commented, “I mean, I still think: what did I do to deserve these beautiful and amazing kids?”
Travis Barker's relationship with Kourtney Kardashian has attracted a lot of attention
Travis Barker has been friends with Kourtney Kardashian for years, but in early 2021, it was rumoured that their relationship had become something more. The two confirmed that they are dating in February 2021, and the drummer later told Billboard that being with Kardashian has been a learning experience. He explained that in his previous relationships, his exes didn’t have kids and wondered why he couldn’t be around for them a lot more. Things are different with Kardashian, who has three kids of her own.
Barker explained, “…I’m spending time with a woman who’s a great mom, who’s a great friend, and you don’t have to worry about any of those things. It just comes natural.”
Meanwhile, as per Vulture, Barker’s ex-wife, Shanna Moakler, isn’t too pleased about this development and has accused the Kardashians of creating a rift in her family. She told TMZ, “My family’s broken because of this family [the Kardashians]…and now my kids and I are alienated from each other because of another sister in the family.”
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